Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed in letters to the editor are those of the author, and publication in the Graphic in no way represents an endorsement. This space is provided to allow public response and commentary on articles and issues that are covered by the Graphic and important to its readership.
Dear Pepperdine Community,
I am writing to you to address the coverage of Disability Awareness Week on campus and how Pepperdine’s non-ADA compliance should be public knowledge to the student body.
In regard to the coverage on Disability Awareness Week, I am referring to the article titled “Office of Student Accessibility Hosts Disability Awareness Week” that was published March 17 by Abby Wilt. It was an excellent piece, which reviewed the five days of DAW, included photographs from the events, infographics and statistics on disability awareness, information on OSA and quotes from Emily McNutt and Melinda Colbert. I believe the article was incredibly well-written, thought provoking and inspiring for every student reading it, whether they were able to attend the events or not. However, my only concern in shedding light on the topic of disability and accessibility on Pepperdine’s campus, is that the complete story was not told, which leads me to my second point.
Though it is not public knowledge, the fact that Pepperdine’s campus is not ADA-compliant, is something every student should be aware of. Despite being built before the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pepperdine is still required by law to uphold ADA measures as an established university. Do they truly follow ADA? Yes, but to a certain extent. In many ways, Pepperdine legally meets the bare minimum of what the ADA requires because ADA is the ground standard, not the ceiling standard of what accessibility should be. Nevertheless, people have discovered things that make Pepperdine’s campus illegal in terms of ADA requirements. While I have access to share the list of ways Pepperdine’s campus is legal and illegal, I challenge the Graphic to investigate and cover a story of their relationship with the ADA and shed light on the controversy.
Thank you for your time,
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